I have no doubts that Trump and his administration with help from the GOP, are planning to attempt an Electoral College coup.
For Trump and the GOP to pull off this coup, they will have to flip 56 Electoral College votes in the battle ground states where Biden won the popular vote.
Those states are: Nevada, Minnesota, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
To pull off this coup and steal the election, Trump must be supported by the Republican Party in those states, but Trump will not be able to flip Nevada’s 6 electoral votes – Nevada has a Democratic Governor and both state legislatures have Democratic majorities.
Then there is Minnesota with 10 electoral votes. This state has a Democratic Governor with a GOP majority in the state Senate and a Democratic majority in the state House, Trump and the GOP will probably not be successful in flipping the electors in this state. Any faithless electors in this state will be challenged in court and their votes changed to support Biden.
There is only one state that is probably a safe bet for Trump to flip and that is Arizona with 11 Electoral College votes. Arizona is the only state among the six that has a GOP governor and both legislatures controlled by the GOP.
The rest of the states with a total of 46 Electoral College votes have Democratic governors, but the GOP controls the state legislatures. Can those Democratic governors veto any legislation the GOP controlled legislatures attempt to pass to make it legal to flip their Electoral College votes and/or may those Democratic governors go to court without support from their legislatures to hold their electors accountable to state law?
Right now, 48 states have laws that direct their electors to cast their vote with the popular vote winner in their states and all 6 of these battle ground states are on that list. For this coup to be legal, those laws must be changed or the state must not contest the Faithless Electors.
In July 2020, a unanimous U.S. Supreme court ruled that Electoral College voters can be forced to back state popular vote winners.
The key point of this unanimous ruling: “States can require Electoral College voters to back the victor of their state’s popular vote.” I’m not sure if there is any language in that ruling that says a governor cannot hold his state’s electors responsible to cast their votes with the winner of the popular vote in his or her state.
For Trump to pull off an Electoral College coup there will be a bitter battle fought through the courts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and no matter who wins, the country may still be torn apart by a Civil War.
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005). He is the award winning author of several books.
“Packed cover to cover with intriguing characters and plot, a must read for history fans and a fine addition to any collection on the genre.” – Midwest Book Review, May 8, 2008
Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival
2012 London Book Festival
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